No local Houston figure in recent memory has become so hated so quickly as Jessica Tata, the fugitive owner of the day care where four children died in a fire last week.
Believed to be in Nigeria, Tata, who lied about her juvenile record on her registration application and then pocketed a few thousand in subsidies, has caused a rift between the Houston arson investigators and the DA's Office, and has the citizenry screaming for blood.
Nowhere is this clearer than on two Facebook pages, "Jessica Tata should be burned alive," and "Against Jessica Tata." If you're unsure about which one to join, but you wholeheartedly believe that Tata's "uterus and ovaries should be removed and destroyed first," then you'll want the former. The latter's mission is "to find, arrest and make Jessica face the wrath of the Law." (That page also "likes" Victoria's Secret and the Astros).
However, you don't have to only believe Tata should be burned alive in order to post on said page's wall. As Tricia Villarreal writes, "I don't think she should be burned alive I think she should be hung from a meat hook and then gutted alive. If she survives that then burn whats left of her."
Cynically, Pena Laurie points out what hundreds of years of state and federal history have shown time and time again -- black people get kid-glove treatment by highly deferrential law enforcement authorities: "It's sad because if she were hispanic they would have arrested her right then and there illegal or not...."
The hate brings out similarly level-headed statements over at Against Jessica Tata, where Sharese Tiki Jackson writes "Don't do any business with Nigerians mostly all are crooked."
This is leveled out by Kathy Smith Haydel's suggestion that, instead of stewing in hatred, "I think we are all playing in the Devil's hands. we need to take that anger and turn it into prayers that God will help us deal with this...."
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LaShawnda Summers-Widenalage recommends perhaps the one person in the world who can possibly cut through the red tape and find Tata -- Dog the Bounty Hunter (with the help of Air Force 1). However, commenter Amber Granger has offered to do the job herself: "Gimme' a plane ticket and pistol...and I'll extradite her ugly ass...The Ghetto Way..."
The page is also good for interesting bits of news you may not get elsewhere, like Jerome Wilson's assertion that Tata was "lactating."
And of course, many of the commenters are asking the questions that have most Houstonians scratching their heads. Daniel Licon makes it pretty clear: "Why the hell was she not arrested on the spot after police were informed by neighbors that she was not home when the fire started?"
It's a good question. We're all eager to hear the answer.